Best Studio Headphones

Review & Comparison, Last Update December 3, 2018
Recording or editing music in a studio often requires an excellent set of headphones that play back audio in a crystal clear manner as well as block out external noise. A good set of studio headphones is just what is needed in this case. If you are looking for a great set of studio headphones, then read our reviews of five great models to choose from. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Construction
Frequency
Impedance
Sound Pressure Level (SPL)
Connection
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

Manually selected pairs of emitters are famous for their increased requirements for SPL tolerances (the tolerance from the norm is within ± 1 dB). The use of an exclusive acoustic silk made it possible to reduce the THD (total harmonic distortion) to a fantastic mark of 0.05%.

CONS

Headphones may be too tight for some users.

OUR VERDICT

For those people who use expensive equipment for listening to and processing music, these Sennheiser headphones with 300 Ohms resistance are a must buy: with them any song will play in a new way and will give you the opportunity to hear previously unheard details, elusive on cheaper analogues.

detailed parameters
Construction

Opened-back

Frequency

10 Hz - 41 kHz

Impedance

300 Ohms

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)

103 dB

Connection

Wired (10-feet detachable cable with 1/4" plug), 1/4" to 1/8" adapter included

Extras

Specially designed acoustic silk for uniform attenuation, Lightweight aluminum voice coils

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Earpads in this model are made of Alcantar™, a soft and pleasant to the touch material, which ideally fits on the head and does not create discomfort even after prolonged wear. Also, the earpads are replaceable, and there is already a spare set in the kit.

CONS

Relatively low frequency range.

OUR VERDICT

If you lead an active lifestyle and are looking for professional headphones that would display all the subtleties of sound in your home studio, and also make it possible to listen to your favorite music on a music player or smartphone - stop at this model from Shure. It is also well-known for its durability, and will serve you well for many years.

detailed parameters
Construction

Closed-back

Frequency

5 Hz – 25 kHz

Impedance

46 Ohms

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)

99 dB

Connection

Wired (6-feet detachable cable with 1/8" plug), 1/8" to 1/4" adapter included

Extras

Diaphragm with APTIV™ Film, replaceable Alcantara™ ear pads (1 Pair of Replacement Earcup Pads included), travel case included

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Included here are 3 removable audio cables with 1/8 "plug: 1 coiled with 4'-10 'length, and 2 straight cables (4' and 10 ') - this solution allows you to choose the optimal length based on the operating conditions. Also included in the kit is a 1/8 "to 1/4" adapter.

CONS

Earpads are very short-lived (non-removable, difficult to replace).

OUR VERDICT

This model is an ideal option for people who wear headphones every day for several hours without removing: 90-degree swiveling earcups automatically adjust to the shape of the head, so that you are guaranteed comfort. Thanks to the collapsible construction, it is convenient to carry them with you.

detailed parameters
Construction

Closed-back

Frequency

15 Hz – 28 kHz

Impedance

38 Ohms

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)

99 dB

Connection

Wired ( 3 detachable cables included with 1/8" plug), 1/8" to 1/4" adapter included

Extras

Collapsible construction, 90° swiveling earcups, travel pouch included

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Due to the special closed-back design of the headphones, you get almost 100% isolation from external noise, allowing you to concentrate on listening to music. Such a design in combination with the bass reflex system creates really powerful and deep low frequencies.

CONS

Cable is non-detachable.

OUR VERDICT

The DT 770 PRO headphones have a resistance of 80 Ohms, and are optimally suited for use in home recording studios equipped with an amplifier of low and medium power. Recommended for musicians, sound directors, and people who want to get the most out of their sound equipment.

detailed parameters
Construction

Closed-back

Frequency

5 Hz – 35 kHz

Impedance

80 Ohms

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)

96 dB

Connection

Wired (10-feet non-detachable cable with 1/8" plug), 1/8" to 1/4" adapter included

Extras

Innovative bass reflex system, travel pouch included

Warranty

2 years

PROS

Thanks to the implementation of the advanced Varimotion™ two-layer diaphragm, the manufacturer managed to significantly expand the range of frequency characteristics: they range from 10 Hz to 39.8 kHz, so reproducing high frequencies should not disappoint anyone.

CONS

Sound insulation quality leaves much to be desired (has some audible sound leakage).

OUR VERDICT

Although this model belongs to the budget category of studio headphones, it still boasts performance characteristics worthy of more expensive models: the unique flat-wire voice coil guarantees reproduction of the purest sound without distortion, which is important to demanding audiophiles.

detailed parameters
Construction

Opened-back

Frequency

10 Hz – 39.8 kHz

Impedance

62 Ohms

Sound Pressure Level (SPL)

105 dB

Connection

Wired (10-feet detachable cable with 1/8" plug), 1/8" to 1/4" adapter included

Extras

Varimotion™ two-layer diaphragm

Warranty

2 years

Sennheiser HD 650

Headphones for Audiophiles

Audiophiles are often the most demanding group of consumers out there. When it comes to audio products, they demand nothing but the highest quality components that are certain to provide the clearest and most accurate sound reproduction available. This explains why there are many high-end (and high cost) audio systems and equipment available, even when much cheaper and good quality counterparts are also available. Audiophiles will simply do with nothing but the best.

The Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphones are made specifically to please audiophiles. These open-backed headphones are designed of the highest quality material, including an acoustic silk on the earpieces that ensures precision damping over the entire frequency range, providing the highest quality and most accurate audio reproduction possible. The frequency range offered by these headphones is 10 - 39,500 Hz (-10 dB), proving full response to the audio spectrum and ensuring that all audio details are accurately reproduced. That means that the highest highs and the lowest lows full be reproduced fully, without distortion or compression, and that all audio played through these headphones will be crystal clear.

Review of Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone

Great Fit for Anyone

The high frequency response range is only just one aspect of these headphones that benefits from the high-quality material used to construct them. The headphones use hand-selected matched driver elements that are capable of reproducing high powered audio accurately, ensuring that all audio is delivered loud and clear. The high power neodymium magnets contributing to the upmost efficiency in the reproduction of audio, making sure that no details are missed or left out of the playback. These headphones provide well-balanced sound output that is easily a match for any other set of headphones out there.

The audio playback capabilities of these studio headphones are excellent, but that doesn't mean that any other details are left out. The open-backed design ensures that you are not completely cut off from the outside world while still providing a measure of audio isolation, ensuring that background noise from the room doesn't interfere with your listening experience. The headphones come with a standard connector that is capable of connecting to any high quality hi-fi components, including SACD, DVD-A, and even CD players, so there shouldn't be a need to worry about incompatibility. In short, these high-end studio headphones are sure to delight even the most cynical audiophile out there.

Sennheiser HD 650 Open Back Professional Headphone in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Shure SRH1540

Premium Build

A common complaint that is often heard about studio headphones is that they are oftentimes not very comfortable to wear. Many of them are bulky, which is largely unavoidable due to their nature, but often little thought is given towards the comfort aspect of them. Heavy headphones that fit too tightly can be extremely cumbersome to wear, which will turn users off no matter how good the audio quality is. Unfortunately, it tends to be difficult to find a good pair that offers both high audio quality and comfort.

The Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones have taken this common complaint to mind, which has resulted in this pair of headphones featuring a high qualty, durable, yet lightweight build that offers both high end audio and comfort. This closed-back model features an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy yoke and carbon fiber cap, providing a lightweight yet highly durable frame that sits comfortably on your head and is a pleasure to wear for extended periods.  The dual frame padded headband is fully adjustable, letting you easily adjust it to just the right size for your head, and adds to the overall experience of comfort. This is truly a rare model that is made with the user's comfort in mind.

Review of Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones

Superior Performance

Having a pair of headphones that is comfortable to wear is fine for most people, but for audiophiles and sound engineers, the audio quality provided by the headphones has to be top notch. Thankfully, these headphones do not disappoint in the slightest. The earpieces feature 40 mm neodymium drivers that deliver an exceptional acoustic performance, providing crystal clear highs along with a warm, rich bass sound. The frequency range provided by these headphones is 5 Hz – 25 kHz, giving you good coverage of the audio spectrum while ensuring that the smallest details are accurately reproduced.

The closed-back design of the headphones provides complete audio isolation, letting you focus on the crystal clear audio playback while blocking out distracting background noise.

Even the smallest details of these headphones seem to be well thought out. The headphones feature 6-ft long dual exit cables with gold-plated MMCX connectors, providing a secure, highly conductive connection that introduces no interference into the audio signal. The ear pads with Alcantara and are easily replaceable once they have been worn out through extended wear, meaning these headphones should provide you with a premium audio experience for years to come.
Shure SRH1540 Premium Closed-Back Headphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x

Studio Grade Heaphones

Over-ear headphones are used not only for entertainment, listening to music and games, or other leisure activities. They are quite useful for professional musicians and audio engineers, giving them the ability to monitor the sound in music studios. How do they work? Many vocalists use them while singing, with their vocals transferred directly from the mixer board during the recording process. This allows the vocalist to monitor their own performance while recording vocals with the highest accuracy. Of course, the sound quality of such headphones should be above all impeccable.

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Monitor Headphones provide the outstanding sound quality required of studio professionals. The closed-back design of these headphone features a circumaural design of the earpieces that comfortably encloses around the ears, providing excellent sound isolation even in loud environments. This makes them perfectly suited as monitor headphones that vocalists can wear to monitor the external sound of their voice, and also makes them equally exceptional for sound engineers to wear while at the mixing board. In fact, there are plenty of use cases where these headphones are the ideal solution.

Review of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Monitor Headphones

Musical Clarity

The outstanding performance of these recording headphones comes down to their exceptional design quality, with even the smallest details being thoroughly touched. The headphones feature 45 mm large-aperture drivers with rare earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire voice coils, giving you the highest quality materials that are known for their excellent audio performance. The high frequency range of these headphones is also sure to please any audio engineer, as the highest highs and lowest lows are reproduced in extreme clarity, giving the audio playback extremely accurate reproduction.

As good as these headphones are with accurate audio reproduction, they also excel at being both comfortable and durable. The earcups feature a 90 degree swiveling design that easily allows for one ear monitoring, with each earcup featuring a soft, professional grade earpad along with supple earband padding that gives these headphones a comfortable feeling on your head. The lightweight design also makes them ideal for extended monitoring sessions without causing discomfort. The headphones also feature a detachable cable that lets you easily store them without worrying about wrapping the cable around them. All-in-all, these professional grade headphones are certain to please any studio musician.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Monitor Headphones in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Audio Technica ATH-M50X Review!

What customers say about this product

Size & Weight

Housed within the plastic exterior is a metal frame that gives the headphones just the right amount of weight, assuring its durability.

Features

I am going to an extent of saying that these are the best sounding headphones I've ever used, and thanks to their low impedance, I can use them on my phone without sacrificing on anything.
 

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO

Exceptional German Engineering

There is a big reason why products that are made in Germany are often in such high demand. German engineers are world-renowned for making extremely well-engineered products, ranging from cars to industrial equipment, and even audio equipment. Such products are proudly advertised as being made in Germany, and this high reputation for exceptional engineering is well-deserved.

The beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphone are a great example of why German engineering has such a great reputation. These studio headphones are made of only the highest quality components, and are well-engineered down to even the smallest details, making them an absolute bargain for their quality at a very reasonable price. These studio headphones feature an over-ear, closed-back design that is unrivaled in audio isolation, giving the user the ability to hear clear audio without any kind of internal or external interference. They are also extremely durable, with a hardened frame that is not susceptible to being easily broken, ensuring that they can weather any kind of studio environment. Along with this durability is a comfortable fit that makes them a pleasure to wear, even for extended studio sessions.

Review of beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphone

True Studio Classic

The high quality and exceptional audio clarity of these headphones makes them ideal both for studio musicians and for audiophiles. The 80-ohm impedance of these headphones gives them a great balance in their ability to work equally well with both home and studio audio equipment, giving them a flexibility in use that many other studio headphones lack. For those who specifically want these same headphones for specific uses, there are models available in both 32-ohm and 250-ohm varieties, ensuring that both casual users and studio engineers alike are able to fully utilize them in their preferred environments.

Not to be outdone is the audio clarity provided by this model that helps make them the ideal choice for such a wide range of users. These headphones feature a wide frequency range of 5 Hz - 35 kHz, giving you fully accurate audio reproduction, complete with high, sharp trebles, and deep, rumbling bass. The headphones come with a single sided cable that allows for frequent putting on and taking off without any inconveniences in the process. The robust spring steel headband also ensures that they remain a tight but comfortable fit. These highly regarded headphones carry a good reputation, and anyone who purchases them will easily see why.

beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO Studio Headphone in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

AKG K702

Ideal For Long Sessions

As has been mentioned before, a common complaint about headphones is that they are often not very comfortable to wear, and this is especially true for models that are made for studio use. For studio headphones, much of the design work often seems to go into the audio reproduction capabilities, with little attention paid to the comfort of the headphones. Any studio engineer can tell you that comfort can be equally important to the audio reproduction, especially when it comes to long studio sessions, which are the norm for any professional audio engineer.

The AKG K702 Reference Class Studio Headphones have been made with both comfort and audio clarity in mind, solving this dilemma. These open-backed headphones feature an over-ear design that makes them rest comfortably on the head, making them ideal for long work sessions. The earcups feature 3D foam ear pads that are designed to provide an ideal, comfortable fit that doesn't cause discomfort to the head. The comfort of these headphones is also aided by a soft patented genuine-leather headband that lets the headphones rest comfortably on your head without causing any discomfort from the frame. Any producer or engineer who wears these for extended sessions will be able to attest to the total comfort of this model.

Review of AKG K702 Reference Class Studio Headphones

Experience Perfection

Despite the low and very affordable cost of these headphones, everything about them screams high quality. The audio clarity and accurate sound reproduction has certainly not taken a back seat to their comfort. The headphones feature a frequency range of 10 to 39800 Hz, giving one of the highest frequency ranges that you will find in any model. All audio details heard through these headphone will be crystal clear, helped by the open-air design that helps improve the acoustics. As these are open-backed headphones, there will be plenty of outside noises heard through them, but this helps make them ideal for situations where both audio clarity and room acoustics are important.

The headphones are rated for 62 Ohms, making them work well with studio audio equipment along with home stereo equipment. However, the impedance is a little too much for audio sources that are not amplified, so keep that in mind. Regardless, the audio clarity provided by these headphones is second to none, and will be sure to please both studio engineers and audiophiles alike. For anyone looking for the ultimate pair of open-backed studio headphones that are comfortable for long listening or work sessions, this model is certain to not disappoint.

AKG K702 Reference Class Studio Headphones in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Are Studio Headphones?

Headphones have been around for about as long as methods of listening to recorded music, and in fact, they are often a daily part of many people's lives. Most people own a pair of headphones, or at least a pair of earphones, and many will often use them while traveling or even at home. Studio headphones are very similar to the standard headphones that most people use. The big difference, however, is that studio headphones are created to reproduce music with the most accurate sound reproduction possible.

Accurate sound reproduction is a pretty important part of studio work, as sound engineers require having the audio sound exactly as it sounded when recorded in order to edit and mix it properly. Studio headphones help sound engineers achieve this goal, often with the added bonus of blocking out any kind of background noise that would interfere with their duties. While many high-end headphones meant for casual use can sound great, many of them do not reproduce audio accurately enough to be of use to audio engineers. Anyone who needs or wants the most accurate sound reproduction possible should invest in a set of studio headphones.

If you are needing a good set of headphones that block out background noise, but don't need studio-quality headphones, then take a look at our reviews of five of the best noise-cancelling headphones available.

What Features to Compare

Let's face it - most people don't really know much about headphones other than that they let us privately listen to audio. For many people, headphones are all the same, with some perhaps sounding better than others. However, for audiophiles, or people who do serious work with audio, headphones are definitely not all the same. The quality of the headphones and of the sound they produce can vary wildly. For those who aren't in the know about the different characteristics of studio headphones, the following information should give you a good idea of what to look for.

Construction

In the world of studio headphones, there are two different types of builds - open-backed and closed-backed. The main different between them comes down to the outer part of the earpieces being closed off (closed-backed) or not (open-backed). While many audio engineers prefer closed-backed headphones, as they isolate noise better, there are different preferences based on different situations. You will want to choose one type or the other based on what your primary use for them will be, and how well you want them to isolate outside noise from what you are listening to.

Frequency Range

The frequency range of headphones determines the frequency of sounds that the headphones are able to reproduce. In general, the larger the frequency range offered by the headphones, the more details you should hear in the audio. Finding the headphones with the largest frequency range is generally your best bet.

Impedance

In general terms, impedance refers to the amount of resistance (measured in Ohms) that an electrical current meets with along a conductor. The higher the impedance, the more resistance is encountered. In regards to studio headphones, the impedance of the headphones refers to their ability to work with strong audio signals without blowing out. Most consumer headphones are low impedance, as they are meant to work with consumer electronic devices that typically send a weak audio signal. Studio headphones, on the other hand, are meant to work with high powered audio sources. If you will be using the headphones with such devices, then you will want to make sure you find a set that has high enough impedance for the equipment they will be used with.

Connector

Last but not least, the type of connector that a set of studio headphones uses is quite important. There are different kinds of audio connectors that work with different equipment, ranging from the standard 3.5mm headphone jack to large 1/4 inch audio jacks. Most studio headphones do not work with 3.5mm headphone jacks, and instead use either a 1/8 inch or 1/4 inch connector. Many models will include an adapter for the other connector type. Make sure that whichever headphones you choose have the appropriate connector and/or adapter for the audio equipment that they will be plugged into.

Did you know?

Studio Headphones: Open-backed vs. Closed-backed

As has been mentioned before, the two main types of studio headphones that you will encounter are open-backed and closed-backed headphones. To the casual observer, the differences between these two types may not be readily apparent, but they can be very important for the situations and environments in which they will be used. Both types have their advantages and drawbacks, and it is hard to say which type can be better than the other, as it comes down to the user's needs and preferences. If you are unsure of which type will best suit you and your needs, then read on for more information about their differences.

Open-backed Headphones

These types of headphones are known for not having any kind of a hard cover over the outer part of the earpieces. This often results in whatever audio is played through them being audible to anyone else in the same vicinity of the headphones. This also makes them a little less ideally suited for situations in which audio isolation is of the upmost importance. While many sets of open-backed headphones can provide a degree of audio isolation, it is usually going to be a much lower degree than that of closed-back headphones.

This isn't to say that open-backed headphones are worse than their closed-backed counterparts. Far from it, in fact. There are specific situations where open-backed headphones are the preferable choice. For instance, those who DJ for a living can tell you that hearing the acoustics of a room is extremely important to their art, and open-backed headphones are ideal for this use, as the user is not completely isolated from the audio and atmosphere around them. When listening to music through them, there is much less audio isolation, but there is also less of a feeling of the music being in your head. In other words, open-backed headphones sound more like music being in the same room rather than just in your head, which to many people adds to the realism and accuracy of the audio that they are listening to.

Closed-backed Headphones

Closed-backed headphones are actually pretty easy to distinguish from their open-backed counterparts when you know what to look for. Closed-backed sets usually have a hard outer shell that fits completely over the earpiece, resulting in a much more isolated listening experience. These types of headphones are the ideal choice for those who want to listen to audio without any kind of outside interference, leaving them in complete isolation with their music. This affect can often give the listener the ability to pick up subtle but important audio details that may be lost whenever there is any kind of outside interference with the listening experience. For this reason, there are a large number of studio engineers who swear by closed-backed headphones and refuse to even look at any of the open-backed kind.

As great as audio isolation can be for some people, closed-backed headphones can have their disadvantages. Due to the complete isolation they provide, music has a much more "in your head" feeling than with the open-backed kind. This can actually at times result in audio having an exaggerated sound that it wouldn't have when played through any other medium, which means that what you hear through the headphones isn't going to be the same experience that others will hear in other situations.

Conclusion

So, which of these types are the best studio headphones for your situation? This is hard for anyone to tell you. Both types have their advantages and disadvantages, and it all really comes down to preference. If you are still unsure of which type is better for you, the best thing to do is to try several models of each type for yourself and see which fits your needs and preferences the best.

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Publish Date: 2018-12-03 11:53:10